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tealboy

Xenon Lights Really That Bad?

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I have the upgraded HID lights on my 2002 Rx300 and have always been disappointed at how terrible they are on low beam. I've always wondered if they were mis adjusted but never had them checked. Last week, I was cruising the online version of Consumer reports and noticed the 2004 series had terrible ratings on their headlights, so it occurred to me that my lights are probably no different even though i have the earlier generation vehicle.

Anyway, I decided I'd reach out to see this is a known weakness of this model. Is there a way to test these lights for alignment and performance?

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First of all, are the plastic lenses on your headlights crystal clear? I ask because I saw an RX300 a few months ago with lenses so cloudy and worn that I doubt if much light could pass through them. The plastic headlight lenses on my 00 LS were dull and cloudy and the light output improved dramatically after I restored the lenses with a Crystal View kit I bought at Advance Auto.

Sure, headlights can be aligned. You can take it to a repair shop with fancy equipment or do it yourself with a tape measure, a flat surface, a wall to shine your headlights against, a bit of masking tape and the appropriate wretches or screwdrivers. You can find general instructions by doing an internet search such as http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&q=how+to+align+headlights&aq=0&aqi=g4g-o1&aql=f&oq=&gs_rfai=&pbx=1&fp=573da4ec7e15bdf2

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What do you mean when you say you have the "upgraded" HID lights on your Rx300? Did they come that way from the factory? Or did you modify/add them?

The 01-03 OEM HID version headlights are pretty good. They're the "reflector" type and use the Philips D2R 4300k bulb, the brightest out there.

HID bulbs do however lose intensity over time, and after 8 years of driving they're probably at the same intensity level of a halogen bulb. You may want to replace them.

And where did you read the 04+ headlight are bad? The 04-09 Rx330/350/400h HID projectors are some of the BEST in existence. It's a completely different design from that on the Rx300.

It all depends on how the beams are "aimed". They're aimed pretty low as to avoid blinding oncoming drivers. You can lower the beams via several adjustment screws behind the headlight. Same goes for the 01-03 Rx300... You may want to try that.

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I think my beams must be low. they are the original factory HID lights and while bright and white, they have no reach whatsoever. I believe the factory sets them a bit low, especially back in 02 b/c at the time, a lot of complaints were arisinga bout these lights being blinding to oncoming traffic, at least that is my guess. Sounds like i can tune them upward a bit or maybe have my mechanic due it while in for the next oil change. If i can raise the beam a little but not be blinding, i think they would be great. I should have done this yrs ago b/c i've always hated these lights, but that's the reason.

regarding the 04, i saw a review in consumer reports where they rated the lights on the 04 as poor. might have also been adjustment related

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My nickels worth. (inflation) As you know my 2010' ES has xenon lights, but I also have a S80 07' Volvo with xenon bi-directional headlights. From experience, the lights on the Volvo have had to be aligned to provide the same approximate area of coverage as the Lexus. In particular, the Volvo does not provide for as much vertical beam coverage as the Lexus or additionaly what I call "ditch to ditch" coverage. Consequently, when we travel at night on country roads we take the Lexus to make sure we have the most area of coverage in order to see deer standing in the ditches.

In terms of overall brightness, both cars are the same. But I have never had anyone flash their lights asking me to dim my lighst when they were already in dim mode.

My 05' Lexus ES had headlight covers that became foggy and had to be cleaned. Helped a lot.

I really like the xenon lights and wouldn't have a car without them.

Paul.

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My nickels worth. (inflation) As you know my 2010' ES has xenon lights, but I also have a S80 07' Volvo with xenon bi-directional headlights. From experience, the lights on the Volvo have had to be aligned to provide the same approximate area of coverage as the Lexus. In particular, the Volvo does not provide for as much vertical beam coverage as the Lexus or additionaly what I call "ditch to ditch" coverage. Consequently, when we travel at night on country roads we take the Lexus to make sure we have the most area of coverage in order to see deer standing in the ditches.

In terms of overall brightness, both cars are the same. But I have never had anyone flash their lights asking me to dim my lighst when they were already in dim mode.

My 05' Lexus ES had headlight covers that became foggy and had to be cleaned. Helped a lot.

I really like the xenon lights and wouldn't have a car without them.

Paul.

I agree, i could never drive a car without HID projectors after having them on the Rx400h...

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